Special Olympics plans Columbia training center
COLUMBIA (AP) - Special Olympic athletes in Missouri could soon have a training center to rival those of their U.S. Olympic team counterparts.
The proposed Training for Life Campus would offer year-round training at a 44,000-square-foot athletics complex off Highway 63 south of Columbia. Project boosters with the Special Olympics Missouri organization say the complex would be the largest of its kind in the country.
Special Olympics Missouri purchased the 11.2 acres of land south of Columbia in 2008. Special Olympics Missouri President and CEO Mark Musso said it has blue prints and plans for about every inch of the space it owns. The plans include the layout of what the organization is calling a campus. The campus would house the new Special Olympics Missouri headquarters.
An additional part of the campus would include what Musso said would be world class outdoor and indoor athletic training facilities. The facilities would provide the 17,000 Special Olympics Missouri athletes with a place to practice their sports as well as provide them with free health screenings.
Musso said it would cost his organization $12.5 million to build the campus. He said the organization will raise 100 percent of the funds before it starts any construction on the new location. So far, Special Olympics Missouri has raised about $3 million.
The organization is hosting a charity bicycle ride on the Katy Trail this weekend to raise money for the project. A pair of two-day rides will begin in Clinton and St. Charles and conclude in Jefferson City, with each route exceeding 100 miles.